This is what my partner loves to say when anyone stuffs up. It is, of course, a joke.
My darling daughter, this post is for you. You’ve killed us all!
I know you think you’ve failed because you made some plans, and they didn’t work out. You think you’ve wasted your time. You think you’ve flunked some sort of ‘getting out into the world’ test – like a baby bird who spreads her wings and nosedives into the nearest cactus. You think other people (like me) would have done better.
Other people didn’t do better. The list of my failures and fuckups is embarrassing – so embarrassing that I probably haven’t told you about them, and so you think they haven’t happened. When I took the Big Overseas Trip, I got sacked – twice, and for very good reason. I alienated people. I bumbled myself into stupid situations and was lucky not to get killed. I didn’t realise that even a beloved baby sister battening on the generosity of her big brother really ought to do some housework. There were lots of things I didn’t realise. But the main thing is, I’m here to admit it.
The only real failure in life is the failure to learn. If you’d spent a year of your life doing anything and come out the other end unchanged and unchastened – well, that’s a waste. But you haven’t. You’ve bravely tried things and they’ve gone belly up. So what! You’ve become more confident and self-reliant. You can catch trains in strange places. You can charm beastly uncles. You can go a whole eight months without losing your passport (more than I did). You now know what it is to be all by yourself. You now know what you’d do next time, if it were all to do again.
And it will be. All to do again. And you will do it all again, and you will do it better, because, this time, you did it worse. In time, you’ll become a skilled, seasoned adventurer, like your mum (ahem). Only more so.
You did good, and I’m proud of you. Always.
And throwing this out there – what was your most embarrassing fail (that you’re willing to share!).
If you’ve read this and enjoyed it, can you consider doing me a favour? I need people to review my book The Wyndham Werewolf on Amazon – and it’s proving hard as finding hens’ teeth. If you’d like to help a poor struggling author…head on over to Amazon and get yourself some karma. If not, I’ll still love you!